Apr. 29, 2015 / Issue No. 682

‘Sketches of Korea: An Illustrated Guide to Korean Culture’
Get a glimpse of the many faces of Korea in illustration form

Seoul Selection is pleased to announce the release of Benjamin Joinau and Elodie Dornand de Rouville’s Sketches of Korea: An Illustrated Guide to Korean Culture.

Kimchi, K-pop, taekwondo, Samsung – the images that most people get when they think of Korea don’t stray much beyond the usual ones. But there are so many more fascinating sides to Korea.

A cultural anthropologist with over 20 years of personal experience in Korea, author Benjamin Joinau introduces readers to the various faces of Korea outside those that Koreans typically like to present, guided by Elodie Dornand de Rouville’s refreshingly original and detailed illustrations—Korean society through the eyes of two foreigners.

Grab a copy and let’s take a look at the real faces of Korea, past and present.

Cost: KRW 12,900

Check out the book’s Facebook page here.


A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler




Jongmyo Royal Ancestral Ritual and Royal Procession (Jongmyo Jerye)

A reenactment of the memorial ceremony for the kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty will take place at Jongmyo Royal Shrine. According to Confucian tradition, the royal family would perform elaborate rituals here five times each year to pay respect to their ancestors. The tradition still holds today in the form of Jongmyo Royal Shrine Ritual, which is said to be the oldest complete ceremony in the world. Jongmyo Jeryeak, the musical part of the ceremony, is produced by instruments, songs, and dances that originated over 600 years ago. The ceremony and music have been designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The ceremony will begin with a royal procession from Gwanghwamun to Jongmyo starting at 11 AM. Some 30,000 spectators are expected to attend.

VENUE: Gwanghwamun (procession), Jongmyo Royal Shrine (memorial rite)
DATE: May 3, 11AM
MORE INFO: See this link
GETTING THERE: 5 minute walk from Exit 11, Jongno 3-ga Station (Line 1).


The fascinating and tragic plot found in the 1910 novel “The Phantom of the Opera” inspired the creation of two musicals based on the same story. Though overshadowed by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” which first opened in 1986, Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit’s 1991 musical “Phantom” has also gained much critical acclaim. The latter rendition focuses more on the personal story arc of Erik, the Phantom, offering a more three-dimensional villain. For the Korean production, singers Park Hyo-shin and Ryu Jung-han and musical actor Kai will star as the Phantom, while Im Sun-hae, Lim Hye-young and Kim Soon-young will star as Christine.

VENUE: Chungmu Art Hall
PERIOD: Thru July 26
MORE INFO: T. 02-2230-6600, www.cmah.or.kr
ADMISSION: KRW 50,000-140,000
GETTING THERE: Sindang Station 신당역 (Line 6), Exit 9. Walk 50 meters in the direction of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

Grand Hyatt Seoul’s ‘Spring Spa Package’

Take advantage of the Grand Hyatt Seoul’s Spring Spa Package (thru June 30) and enjoy some rest and relaxation amid the scent of flowers on Mt. Namsan.

Spend the night in one of the hotel’s Grand Rooms, with views of verdant Mt. Namsan, and the hotel will provide you with a 60-minute Spring Spa Treatment at The Spa Grand Hyatt Seoul. You can choose either a Crushed Lemon Sugar Body Polish Treatment, an Awakening Citrus Facial Treatment or KRW 150,000 of spa credit.

PRICE: KRW 390,000 (not including tax and service)
MORE INFO: T. 799-8888

Hyatt Regency Jeju’s ‘I Love You, Thank You Package’

May is the month of love and thanks – Children’s Day, Parent’s Day, Teacher’s Day, etc. – so why not celebrate the month of the family with a trip to Jeju? The Hyatt Regency Jeju’s ‘I Love You, Thank You Package’ (thru May 31) provides guests staying the night a KRW 30,000 food and drink credit. But the best part is that the hotel will discount the room rate by the age of the oldest member of your party. If the oldest member is in his or her 60s, you’ll be discounted KRW 60,000. If he or she is in his or her 50s, you’ll be discounted KRW 50,000.

PRICE: Starting from KRW 270,000 (not including tax and service)
MORE INFO: T. 064-733-1234

Objectology ll: Make

“Objectology ll: Make” is an extension of the museum’s modern art exhibition “Objectology I: Design and Art” from 2014. This year’s exhibition examines the meaning of using hands and labor to make objects, and is divided into two parts: The first segment reflects on how people privatize objects through the act of collecting, while the second explores the relationship between objects and their creators. The works on display will also offer insight on social problems in the city’s manual labor force and physical environment.

VENUE: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon
PERIOD: Thru June 28
MORE INFO: T. 02-2188-6000, www.mmca.go.kr
GETTING THERE: Seoul Grand Park Station 서울대공원역 (Line 4), Exit 4. Take the shuttle bus.

RASKB Excursion: Magkeolli Brewery Tour

Baesangmyeon Brewery could arguably be called Korea’s first craft makgeolli brewery. With generations of history and tradition, they continue a commitment to creating quality products through attention to detail and a deep understanding of brewing principles. In an industry that has largely been characterized by the use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Baesangmyeon has proven that with the right recipe, care and patience, a makgeolli brew can be produced that does not need additives. More than just makgeolli, Baesangmyeon is also exploring lost traditions by producing a range of inspired sojus and alcohols.

Baesangmyeon opens its brewing grounds and museum to visitors interested in furthering their knowledge and experience of the history and culture of Korean traditional liquor. Sansawon showcases an outdoor exhibit of traditional brewing vessels (Hangari) on a backdrop of beautiful mountains and natural surroundings, as well as an indoor museum chronicling the history of both the brewery and Korea’s brewing evolution.

VENUE: Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do
DATE: May 3
COST: KRW 77,000 for members and KRW 92,400 for non-members
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.



Sinchon Graffiti Tunnel, near Sinchon Railway Station. Photo by Robert Koehler.


Survey on Korean language learning – Jini Shim, a visiting graduate student at the Academy of Korean Studies, is conducting a survey on the user preference of Korean language study methods. If you have a few moments to spare, please click on over to the surveys and fill them out: English/Korean.

Seoul Selection’s Free Book Giveaway – Our free book give-away continues! Check out the list in last week’s newsletter here

Seoul Selection Offline Bookshop Sale  One of the greatest repositories of Korea-related English-language books anywhere, Seoul Selection is offering a 10% sale on any and all books published by Seoul Selection purchased from our OFFLINE bookshop next to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Looking for Translators – Seoul Selection is looking for a few good translators (Korean to English) for general translation work. Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to Kyehyun at atoz@seoulselection.com. Experienced translators only.
Seoul Selection eBooks – You can purchase some Seoul Selection titles in ebook format via Amazon.com (for Kindle) and Apple’s iBookstore. Titles include Ask a Korean Dude, Moon Tides, Doing Business in Korea, Once Around the Sun, and seven volumes of our Korean Film Directors series: BONG Joon-ho, IM Kwon-taek, KIM Jee-woon, LEE Chang-dong, LEE Man-hee, PARK Chan-wook, and SHIN Sang-ok.
Send Your Event Info – If you would like to advertise any upcoming events you are organizing, please send us the press release material at pubco@seoulselection.com by the preceding Friday in order for it to appear in the following Tuesday’s issue.

Freelance Contributors Wanted – SEOUL Magazine needs writers who are fluent in both Korean and English. Writers should have a strong interest in Korean culture and be able to interview Koreans. Send your resume and writing samples to english@seoulselection.com.


SEOUL (June 2015)

Buy Books at Seoul Selection’s ONLINE Bookshop!





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Korean Speaking Advanced. 4: Discussion

Sketches of Korea


The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

SHIVA, Throw Your Life

Big Match

My Place

The King of Jokgu

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